From ePortfolio to Open Badges – on the Individuation of Technical Objects

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In 2004, during the second international ePortfolio conference (La Rochelle, France) a group of participants agreed to launch a campaign on the theme ePortfolio for all! Their objective was “by 2010, every citizen will have an ePortfolio!” 10 years later, despite a growing number of ePortfolio initiatives worldwide, we are still very far from achieving this goal.

 

This text is an attempt at exploring why the global adoption of Open Badges is likely to succeed and how it might feedback into ePortfolio technologies and practices. For that purpose, in the perspective of thegenesis of technological objects, I draw a parallel with the evolution of computer technology from the early generation of computers to the advent of integrated circuits and computer chips (CPU, central processing units). The emergence of Open Badges will be analysed as a result of the evolution of ePortfolios, theirconcrétisation (reification). ePortfolios are more abstract, Open badges more concrete as the result of anindividuation process.

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